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Band Americana Folk


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The Farriers hail from Northern Ireland. Their music is influenced by a rich blend of Irish traditional folk / American roots. The result is upbeat and soulful songs which are full of spirit and tunes that endear you to sing along. The inclusion of viola, played by Kate Squires was a great move that adds a beautiful and subtle depth to their music…overall, they reminded me very much of the Waterboys. The Coastlines EP has that magical quality that made Fisherman’s Blues such a great album. Shift that 20 plus years on, add some great handclapping and footstompin and you have the Farriers. This was a well thought out EP with a good range of upbeat and mellow songs that will have you reaching for the whiskey, in a good way…go check them out! - Folk Radio.co.uk

From the opening strains of ‘Another One Riding’, it's clear that Northern Irish five-piece Farriers debut album is not what one might have expected. There are many subtle touches here that will surely catch long-time fans off guard.

Farriers wear their musical tastes on their collective sleeve, more American than Bruce Springsteen, more authentic than Mumford & Sons. Years Ago in Our Backyard is, however, a difficult beast to pin down.

Having built an incredibly strong reputation as a fearsome live act, Farriers are confident in their own sound, powerful and anthemic.They have transferred that sound to tape, but wrapped the whole thing in a shimmering, ambient soundscape.

The album opens, with white noise rising slowly from the silence, creating an atmosphere that could point in any number of musical directions.

Fans of the band need not worry, because Farriers only travel west. The gently strummed sound of Stephen Macartney’s resonator guitar cuts through the gloom, and puts us back on familiar ground. What follows are 11 perfectly crafted tracks that mark Years Ago in Our Backyard out as easily a contender for the Northern Irish album of the year.

Farriers' live experience is a visceral rush, full of power and sing-a-long moments, but this album is cloaked in mystery, every song framed in dramatic, hushed tones that provide an unlikely but welcome backdrop for the characteristically anthemic songs. All new, all as good as anything Farriers have written in the past.

The level of musicianship on display is exemplary. Each member of the band brings something unique to the picture, from Rachel Coulter’s sweetly melancholic vocals, to the yearning viola of Kate Squires – firmly rooting the band in an Americana tradition – whilst the rhythm section of Gareth Hughes and Gerry Morgan keep the fire in the engine room burning.

Farriers' sound is muscular, urgent and energetic, always driving forward, never getting too mired in the layers of sound they create. Whilst ‘Another One Riding’ is beautiful and understated, tracks like ‘So Long as I Can Stay’ capture the sound of late night drinking sessions, when guitars are dragged out and everyone joins in.

Tracks like ‘San Remo’ and ‘Fickle Fold’, meanwhile, sound lived in, peopled by characters who have seen things – committed acts – that others would want to forget. One gets the sense that this isn’t mere roleplaying, rather Farriers craft stories and follow narratives in their songs. These tracks are so accomplished it's difficult to imagine that Farriers don't have many more in the locker.

Quite how a Northern Irish band managed to tap into such a resonant vein of Americana is difficult to say, but there’s no doubt that Farriers never veer into pastiche. It’s easy for a band to wear the clothes and talk the talk, whilst never having that emotionally resonant centre that makes it work. Farriers never stumble into this trap.

Everything about Years Ago in Our Backyard feels authentic, from the production to the playing to the songs to the picture on the cover – this is no fluke. Yet Farriers don’t make it easy for us. Every time you listen to these songs, there’s another level of meaning to be found, another layer of delight to look behind. This is music for the ages, and we’re lucky to have it right now. - Culture NI

Farriers have become one of Northern Ireland's most show stopping live bands. Years Ago In Our Backyard is an incredible record which should see them filed alongside the like of Wilco, Fleet Foxes, Gillian Welch and James Taylor. James Taylor would certainly be proud of the track San Remo, arguably the stand out song on an album full of phenomenal tunes.
Farriers certainly have the tunes to make a big name for themselves. - The Irish News


Coastlines EP - 2009.
Years Ago In Our Backyard -2012



"Northern Ireland's finest folk act hands down" - BBC

Hailing from Belfast, Northern Ireland, the
band have garnered great acclaim, both for their
highly charged live shows and upon the release of
their first EP, ‘Coastlines’, and debut album 'Years Ago In Our Back Yard' which have received
much radio attention from local and national

"Easily a contender for the Northern Irish album of the year." Culture Northern Ireland

Their debut album 'Years Ago In Our Backyard' has caused a tangible buzz in radio stations and venues across the country, with much critical acclaim. The album includes tales of a small town that lies in the path of bigger journies; unforgettable nights out in smoky pubs and stories about long lamented youth in sprawling North American cities.

To make the album possible Farriers embarked on one of the most innovative funding ventures undertaken in Northern Ireland, which offered fans the chance to donate money towards the production of the album. With an incredible response in the 30 day pledge period, Farriers were able to mix, master and distribute the album.

Fronted by Rachel Coulter and Stephen
Macartney, whose close harmony singing harkens
back to old time bluegrass, the band also includes
Kate Squires on viola, and Gareth Hughs on bass.

"One of the key bands for acoustic Ireland." Music Link Northern Ireland